According to the Ukrainian military, a Russian Ka-52 attack helicopter was shot down by Ukrainian troops near the hotly disputed city of Bakhmut.
Ukrainian “Edelweiss” 10th separate mountain assault brigade said on Facebook on Wednesday that a Ka-52 scout-attack helicopter nicknamed the Alligator, was taken down during an attempted airstrike. According to Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda, this was verified by Serhiy Cherevatyi, a spokesman for Ukraine’s East Grouping of Forces.
Cherevatyi claimed that the Piorun MANPADS, the portable defense weaponry, was responsible for shooting down the helicopter.
One of Russia’s most coveted assault helicopters is the Kamov Ka-52. The U.S. Navy describes the attack aircraft as a “significantly enhanced variant” of the previous type Ka-50. It can launch 30-millimeter rockets, air-to-air guided missiles, and anti-tank missiles. Russian state military export company Rosoboronexport claims the Ka-52 can perform any combat job efficiently. With its coaxial primary rotors and cutting-edge avionics, it can reach top speeds of over 186 miles per hour.
According to Rosoboronexport, it is intended to be used on the front lines to eliminate tanks, military vehicles, planes, and personnel.
Russia sent over 100 Ka-52 helicopters to invade Ukraine; this past Thursday, however, the country seems to have lost almost a third of its “Alligator” day-and-night assault helicopters.
According to the visual confirmation provided by the Netherlands open-source publication Oryx, Russia has lost 33 Ka-52 “Alligator” helicopters in Ukraine since February 24, 2022.
According to a tweet from the British Ministry of Defense on October 25, 2022, “almost half” of Russia’s helicopter losses in Ukraine were Ka-52 “Alligator” helicopters.
Russian commanders looked to be resorting to “high-risk assault helicopter operations” to support its forces after suffering casualties, the ministry said, perhaps due to Ukraine’s employment of MANPADS.